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57 Street

Alex Katz

Metropolitan Faces, 2018

Laminated glass

In Metropolitan Faces, Alex Katz incorporates his iconic boldly simplified portraits and flowers painted with flat fields of color into the mezzanine level of the 57th Street station. A New Yorker for over 90 years, Katz has developed a signature painting style that captures his subjects with minimal yet precise brushstrokes. His tightly cropped paintings take cues from daily visual culture like advertising and cinema, celebrating everyday America. The large painted glass panels fill the passageway with light and color through the faces that reflect those of commuters, while his lush floral compositions are a nod to nearby Central Park. Commenting on the public permanent installation, the artist and subway rider said, “It is a privilege to make art for all people”. The lengthy station mezzanine, which was constructed in the late 1960’s and designed with the commercial development above, provides a unique setting within the transit environment to view the series of paintings on glass that are set within the cast stone panels that line the station walls.

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